On May 12-25th I will be heading to the town of Swayimana, in the Kwazulu-Natal region of South Africa to help out a non-profit organization called Zimele. "Zimele" is Zulu for "I am standing on my own two feet." The organization's main vision is to confront the root causes of poverty and empower communities of women and children to stand on their own two feet instead of depending on foreign aid. This comes in the form of providing women with skills, business training, resources, mentorships and support networks necessary to start businesses and social service projects to sustain themselves, their families, and their communities. I think this organization is special because it focuses on more than just meeting immediate needs, but rather emphasizes long term transformation. As the saying goes, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
This is where my trip comes in! A team composed of several professionals representing finance, computers, culinary arts, education, photography, arts/crafts, sports, pharmacy, and medicine will be leading workshops specific to our professions to impart specialized skills to the women of the Swayimana. I will personally be holding workshops on how to bake breads, cookies and cakes so that women can learn the recipes and skills necessary to start a local bake shop as well as feed their families and neighbors. Currently, to get a loaf of basic white bread they must travel to a large city that is three hours away round trip! The town just got their first oven donated to them, so they are extremely eager to learn how to use it. This is an incredible opportunity to use my culinary experience and skills to make an impact on a community and their local economy. To learn more about the organization visit www.zimelecommunity.org I will return with photos and stories to share!
Here is bread recipe I've been testing to teach them!